Most people can be divided into three categories: those who hate IKEA, those who love it, and finally those who see its purpose, but don’t understand what all the unnecessary fuss is about.
Personally, I come from a family who spent a LOT of time in IKEA. Most of the furniture we own collectively comes from IKEA. Some of it is older than me! A lot of it has moved several times, and it still stands, albeit sometimes with screws that are a bit loose.
No matter how much money i might end up making later in life, or how much my future partner might earn: my furniture will most likely come from IKEA. If only to match what I already have!
“But the quality isn’t that great,” some say. Well, you get what you pay for. If you want high end leather sofas and mahogany bookcases and wardrobes, then no, this isn’t the place to find them. But if you want simple wooden furniture, maybe a few funny plastic chairs for your kids, a sofa-bed that doesn’t cost as much as a small car, then IKEA is the place to go.
French comedian Gad Elmaleh even mentioned it in one of his shows, and pointed out the excitement shown by the public was akin to national pride!
If you fully embrace the concept, then IKEA can be a great day out! I mean, the cafeteria alone is worth the half-hour to an hour commute it takes to get to most IKEA shops around the world. Meatballs!!! Gravy!! (For those who care, that would be köttbullar in the original :D) Their other dishes are also good, so good in fact, you can buy most in the food section after the tills. And yes, it may not be top quality. But for what you pay, and as sustenance before a loooong trek across the IKEA maze, it’s pretty good.
And yes, it’s true, IKEA (like many other giant stores) is a bit of a holy place for couples to fight. Usually it’s because guys don’t like to shop. Or because he sees that sofa fitting into the car, and you soooo don’t. Coz it doesn’t. Or he wants the kitchen cabinets to be white, you want them red. You might also be dragging kids with you, so they could either be happy, running from one exhibit to the other (that was me), or screaming because they’re bored and hot and who knows what else.
Then it’s a case of knowing what you need, what matches your tastes, your budget and more importantly the space you have. Personally, I’m a big fan of Billy bookcases. Love them. They’re everywhere. I still need more. Also Benno CD/DVD towers. And Poäng chairs. And Ektorp sofas. And Expedit shelves. And Micke desks. And everything else in between. Most of my bedding is from IKEA. So is my kitchenware.
But what I love most, what makes me go there even if in theory I don’t need anything, is the possibilities. When I walk through furniture, investigate one of those “we live in 55²m” exhibits, when I look inside a kitchen; I see the house I could have. I see the endless options to maximise space in a room, or to make a kitchen look old-fashioned even though it’s brand new. I imagine what I could change, what I would replace. Some people love watching Grand Designs (it’s ok sometimes), well I just like to go to IKEA. And until the next visit, I’ll just leaf through the catalogue.
Pictures from: cospick.com, ikea.com, ukhomeideas.co.uk, squawkfox.com, independent .co.uk